Wednesday, May 02, 2007

At least we know what they call the decks



So "hedcontext" is the first deck, "hedexplain" is the c-deck and "storylabel" is the kicker?

You have to go to the Web site to find out that yesterday's "Tiger, Jordan" hed treatment has become today's "Tiger, Michael." ("It's a rare day you're on a first-name basis with the stars of the biggest show in town," the lede explains helpfully. "But you know Michael and you know Tiger.")

Nope. Can't say that I do. Nor do I know the Keyshawn mentioned in the skybox. But I'm starting to figure out the style rule: If you're a black guy and you play sports, house style is to call you by your first name in heds. That it?

6 Comments:

Blogger Dan said...

At least for the latter, I imagine that it's because sports fans recognize "Keyshawn" right away, but they'd need longer to figure out which "Johnson." (And yes, there's a picture next to him, but football players have those darned face masks on all the time.)

We do the same with "Avery" instead of "Johnson" and "Emmitt" instead of "Smith."

11:35 AM, May 02, 2007  
Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

Well, around Maryland they always said "Cal" and "Brooks" in the headline's, too - or at least often. And they weren't black.

And doesn't everyone in universe call him Tiger?

9:25 PM, May 02, 2007  
Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

ps - "hed dumy"? Shouldn't that have been "hed dummy"?

5:37 AM, May 04, 2007  
Blogger fev said...

Or "hed, dummy"? (I'll be here all week; don't forget to tip.)

Couple distinctions might be worth teasing out a bit:
1) Clipping for heds isn't necessarily the same thing as choosing given name over family name. "Cal" is always going to be shorter than "Ripken." (How'd they distinguish Junior and Senior?)It can be a register issue -- the New York Post uses "Rudy" and "Hil," and the Times used "M'Arthur" -- without becoming a tone issue.
2) The cases in which width isn't the issue are more interesting. "Prez" is shorter than "Reagan" but counts the same as "Bush," so it's a tossup today, but when the Post spends the extra space to call the incumbent "Dubya," it's sending a friendly signal.

I think something related is in play with sports names. "Keyshawn" is longer than "Johnson," but "Avery" is shorter, and "Emmitt" is longer than "Smith." So, because this is a good week for procrastinating, I looked up the originating paper's hed play on the Bruton Smith divorce trial (Smith being a rich white guy in sports, assuming you wave NASCAR in as a sport) for comparison. It looks mostly like this:

LAW FIRM SUES SMITHS OVER DIVORCE PACT

LAW FIRM THREATENS SUIT OVER FEE IN SMITH SETTLEMENT

SMITH PROPERTY-DIVISION CASE SETTLED

SMITH DIVORCE CASE STILL ON DOCKET

COURT UPHOLDS NEARLY ALL OF SMITH DIVORCE ORDER

DIVORCE TERMS DEBATED IN SMITH APPEAL

SMITH APPEALS DIVORCE CASE

So for whatever reason, the recognition rule doesn't come into play here. (If you're _very nice,_ I'll post a Great Moments In Journalism lede from the Smith trial when time permits.)

I don't think there's an evil plot afoot. I do think it's the sort of unintentional pattern that desk ought to talk about themselves before somebody less friendly talks about it for them.

Great issue of "I and the Bird," by the way.

11:26 AM, May 04, 2007  
Blogger Strayhorn said...

Must be going around:

http://nagsheadlocal.blogspot.com/2007/05/one-of-my-faves-not-only-did-this.html

1:54 PM, May 04, 2007  
Anonymous Amy F. said...

Well, in newsroom vernacular we call them the context hed and the explainer, so there's that.

As far as Tiger/Michael, my guess is the paper was trying to convey the less serious tone of the day bc the story was about the pro-am event and not the actual PGA Tour tournament. That sort of familiar tone happens a lot when sports stories slide onto our news pages.

That, however, is purely speculation; I'm out of town this week.

3:43 PM, May 04, 2007  

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